Skip to main content

Full text of "History And Human Relation"

See other formats


not only serve the cause of historical science but would
throw significant light upon a first-class public issue.
It should be noted that those who conduct the ordin^ty
official correspondence—the communications that pass
between the Foreign Secretary and an ambassador at a
foreign capital for example—have long been aware that,
even without the eventuality of a war, their dispatches
and telegrams may be published.   One can learn many
things from this more formal material, and it is a matter
of no little moment that large selections from it should
be printed in the way that is happening at the present
day.   Yet sometimes one can read a very great area of
it without meeting the decisive revelation that really
brings a matter home; and once again the point is one
that is sufficiently realised by historians when they are
discussing the foreign policy of any country except their
own.   Some of us waited jealously to see whether in
the case of the publication of the captured German
documents the same principles would be adopted as
have been employed in the selection of our own diplo-
matic papers.   They have not; and those who care to
disentangle the  ordinary  diplomatic  correspondence
from the more confidential type of. document in the
volumes of German papers can judge the measure of
the importance of the revelations which only come
from the particular kind of material that we are here
discussing.   It is the people most responsible for the real
development of our foreign policy—though they may
not be technically responsible to Parliament—who gain
remarkable cover from the decision to exclude that
material in the case of the English series.   These sub-